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Admission to the WWU School of Nursing

We understand that each student brings a unique educational background and figuring out which entry option may fit you best can be difficult.  Our admissions advisors are available to help you determine which entry program may best fit your academic needs. Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.

Discover which program track is a good fit for you >

Track 1: Traditional

Campus: College Place

This entry track is for first time college freshman or applicants with only a few college classes completed.

During your freshman year, your nursing academic advisor will help you enroll in the courses that you will need to be eligible to apply to begin nursing classes in your sophomore year.

View a sample class schedule >
College Place campus estimated expenses >

What do I need to do now?

  1. Apply to WWU as a first-time freshman and select nursing as your major.  
  2. Follow the steps to enrollment that you will be given by the WWU Enrollment Office.

What happens later?

1. During your freshman year, you MUST successfully complete (with a grade of C or above) the following classes:

  • Anatomy & Physiology – The whole year sequence
  • Human Nutrition
  • General Psychology
  • General Sociology
  • College Writing I and II (3 additional credits of research writing must be successfully completed prior to the junior year)
  • MDEV003 or have satisfactory math placement test to enter MATH 106: Intro to Statistics

2.  In addition to the classes listed above, your advisor will help you select other classes (e.g. history, humanities, religion) to make sure you have at least 42 credits that apply to the nursing major before the end of your freshman year.  Students who complete between 45 - 48 credits in their freshman year will be given preference.

3.  You must achieve a cumulative WWU GPA of 2.9 or above to be accepted to start nursing classes at the beginning of your sophomore year.

4.  You must apply to be accepted to the sophomore nursing courses by April 15 of your freshman year. The application process includes:

  • Applying to the School of Nursing - You will submit a formal application and write an essay about why you are applying to take nursing at WWU and why you wish to be a nurse.  This essay is scored on your content and your writing ability. 
  • Taking and passing three entrance tests – your advisor will help you make an appointment to take these at the testing center on campus.  See below for more information on the tests.

Pre-admissions testing

Students applying to enter sophomore nursing classes at WWU School of Nursing must take and pass pre-admission tests during the admission process. There are three (3) required tests:

  • Accuplacer Reading Comprehension
  • Accuplacer Arithmetic Test
  • Health Science Reasoning Test

Testing info

  • It takes about 3 hours to complete all three (3) tests, sometimes longer.  Please plan accordingly.  
  • You are given two (2) attempts to achieve the minimum required score for each test per year.
  • There is a $10 fee for each test.


Accuplacer Arithmetic Test

Passing score | 80 or above
View sample test questions >

This 17 question test measures a student's ability to perform basic arithmetic operations and to solve problems that involve fundamental arithmetic concepts.  There are three content areas measured on this untimed test:  

  1. Whole Numbers and Fractions
  2. Decimals and Percents
  3. Applications and Problem Solving

The Whole Numbers and Fractions area includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers, and estimating.  The Decimals and Percents area includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with decimals.  Percent problems, recognition of decimals, fraction and percent equivalencies, and estimating problems are also given.  The Applications and Problem Solving area includes rate, percent, and measurement problems, simple geometry problems, and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.

Questions from all three categories are always presented to the student, although the number of questions from each category varies with the student's skill level.  For example, if a student's responses show minimal arithmetic skills, presenting too many applications problems is pointless.  On the other hand, a student exhibiting good skills with whole numbers and fractions will be presented with more of these types of problems.  As a result, the proportion of questions in the various categories will automatically vary according to the student's responses.

It is not necessary to bring a calculator to this exam.  A calculator is provided via the testing program. For questions that a calculator is allowed, a calculator icon appears on screen.

Accuplacer Reading Comprehension Test

Passing score | 80 or above
View sample test questions >

Study book:501 Reading Comprehension Questions, 4th Edition, by Learning Express, ISBN #978-1-57685-747-2
This can be found on reserve in the College Place and Portland campus libraries

This 20 question test measures a student's ability to understand what they have read. There are four content areas on this untimed test: 

  1. Identifying main ideas
  2. Direct statements/secondary ideas
  3. Inferences
  4. Applications  

There are two basic question types. The first question type consists of a reading passage followed by a question based on the text.  Both short and long narratives are provided. The reading passages can also be classified according to the kind of information processing required, including explicit statements related to the main idea, explicit statements related to a secondary idea, application and inference.

The second question type focuses on sentence relationships and presents two sentences followed by a question about the relationship between these two sentences.  For example, the question may ask whether the statement in the second sentence supports the first sentence, contradicts it, or repeats the same information.

Health Sciences Reasoning Test

Passing score | 17 or above
Learn more about the HSRT >

Study book:  Reasoning Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day, 2nd Edition, by Learning Express, ISBN #978-1-57685-493-0
This can be found on reserve in the Portland campus libraries

This 50 minute timed test has 33 multiple-choice questions that measures critical thinking skills of health science students.  

The test asks test-takers to apply their skills in a variety of different scenarios in the areas of:

  • Analysis
  • Interpretation
  • Inference
  • Evaluation
  • Explanation
  • Induction
  • Deduction
  • Numeracy.





Kari Firestone, PhD, RN
Associate Dean of the School of Nursing
Admissions advisor
(509) 527-2461

Last update on October 11, 2018